Illuminate Coral Gables, the outdoor display of projected art on buildings (plus two dozen pedicabs festooned with colorful lanterns) ended its month-long run March 13. With hopes that it will return bigger and brighter next year, the numbers on whether it attracted more people to the downtown are now in. According to the city’s IT Department, the answer is yes, it definitely attracted more people, as measured by devices that count pedestrian traffic. Giralda Plaza saw the greatest jump, from 2,145 people a day (on average) crossing the western end of the plaza in the month before Illuminate to 3,956 a day during the month of Illuminate.
The numbers even edged the 3,826 daily average count in 2020, in the last month before the pandemic shut everything down. While the numbers were not as strong from counters along Miracle Mile, they still showed an increase, though not back to the pre-pandemic levels. “In summary,” says Raimundo Rodulfo, the city’s IT director, “the downtown traffic increased during the event, in some places more than others – almost double in Giralda Plaza, and approximately 20 percent elsewhere. In some cases, the event peak traffic surpassed pre-pandemic values during the same days the previous year.”